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Australia Day Awards benefit Broken Hill

Monday, 10th February, 2020

John Lynch, Foundation Broken Hill Director and a 2020 recipient of the Order of Australia Medal for his services to the Royal Flying Doctor Service. John Lynch, Foundation Broken Hill Director and a 2020 recipient of the Order of Australia Medal for his services to the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

The inclusion of three Broken Hillites in the national 2020 Australia Day Awards has real potential to benefit the city, according to one of the recipients, John Lynch OAM. 

Mr Lynch, the Foundation Broken Hill Director, says the credibility attached to the Order of Australia awards will stimulate more recognition that Broken Hill is much more than a “mining town” and produces people who go on to make their mark in the national record.

“Foundation Broken Hill has big plans for 2020, much of which will involve consultation with - and proposals to - both State and Federal Governments,” he said. 

“The Board and the calibre of its voluntary directors are already well respected in these quarters, but this additional national recognition could help add weight to our cause.”.

Foundation Broken Hill already has an Officer of the Order of Australia (OA) in Simon Molesworth QC, and Chair Vince Gauci was awarded the Centenary Medal for Distinguished Contribution to the Mining Industry in 2003, with a Legend of the Mining Industry Award in 2009.

Mr Lynch was awarded his OAM principally for his 32 years’ service to the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS), beginning as an accountant at the Broken Hill base in 1986 and ultimately spending nine years as Chief Financial Officer of RFDS Central Operations (serving SA/NT) and a further 18 years as Chief Executive Officer of RFDS Central Operations before his retirement in 2018. 

He was integral to the launch of the Aero Medical Precinct for the State of South Australia at Adelaide Airport.

In April last year the RFDS recognised Mr Lynch’s contribution by naming the world’s first-purpose built aeromedical jet, worth $13 million, the “John Francis Lynch”. The name is often visible in television news items detailing the amazing feats of the RFDS.

Throughout his career, he has maintained a high sense of community and, among other organisations, has been a strong supporter of Foundation Broken Hill. 

He first joined the Board in January 2002 when the organisation was in its formative years, was a much-valued contributor for almost eight years and returned in 2018 on retiring from the RFDS. 

Mr Lynch maintains that commitment to career, sport or voluntary roles is not possible without support from family. He credits his wife Anita (also well-known in Broken Hill) for all he has been able to achieve.

“I am truly humbled by the award and recognition,” he said. 

“Let’s hope it really benefits the Foundation and Broken Hill as we move through 2020. I am passionate about both the organisation and the city.” 

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